Flooring plays an important role in the overall value of your home. This crops up in the objective view of potential buyers and the price you can reasonably set for the home. When selecting flooring with the intention of improving home value, you should lean toward hardwood flooring options. Alternatives that can positively improve home value include ceramic and stone tile.
What Factors Affect Home Resale Value?
Some things are simply out of your hands when it comes to your home’s value. For example – you can’t pick your home up and plop it into a good school district.
Things you can’t alter in your favor include:
- Neighborhood comparable homes
- Home size (unless you’re planning a major construction project)
- Age of Home
The good news is, there are some things you can change about your home to boost its resale value.
Things you can alter to improve your home’s value:
- Upgraded appliances, especially the stove and refrigerator
- Improved home condition, especially maintenance to the exterior
- Remodeled rooms, especially the kitchen
- New energy-efficient features, especially windows
- Additions to the home, especially extra bedrooms or a pool
- Installation of smart technology, especially thermostats and security features
The effect upgrades have on your home will vary greatly in different markets and price brackets. For example, higher-value homes will see a greater spike in price with the addition of a pool versus lower-priced homes that see a greater spike from a kitchen upgrade.
What Floors to Install for Highest Home Value
The question everyone wants to be answered is how to get the best ROI from any upgrades you commit to. For flooring, the answer comes down to installing hardwood when considering ROI.
But there are other factors at play, as mentioned previously when it comes to value-added based on the geographical location and price range.
Let’s break down your basic options for the highest ROI.
The average ROI for installing hardwood floors is 70% to 80% making it a worthwhile investment for those looking to amp up the value of their home. Another plus is buyers want hardwood and will actively search for it in potential homes. Hardwood floors will cost between $9 to $18 per square foot for combined material and installation.
Tile, Stone or Marble
Tile, stone, and marble cost around $12 to $25 per square foot and can net an ROI of around 70%. These are great alternatives to hardwood in tropical climates where mold and warping are a concern.
The downfall? The cost. Tile, stone, and marble floors can be pricey to purchase and to install.
Vinyl and Linoleum
Vinyl and linoleum can give you the hardwood look without the hardwood price. These flooring types have plenty of options when it comes to size and color. Plus, they’re decently cost-effective at between $2 and $12 per square foot, laminate being the less expensive of the two. But you lose out on the overall increase in the value of your home that you get with hardwood.
Carpet is fairly cheap in comparison to other options. You can expect to pay under $7 per square foot. The problem is that buyers don’t look for carpet and some actively avoid it altogether.
Your ROI for new carpet will only be 25% to 40%, paling in comparison to other options. This may be a good option if you’re short on money to invest and need to replace badly damaged flooring.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Flooring?
At some point, you should ask yourself, “Is it more cost-effective to repair or replace my flooring or should I leave it as-is?”
Make sure the cost of flooring fits the overall cost of your house. Someone looking for a lower-priced home isn’t going to cash-in extra for new marble flooring. Consider the homes in your area and the style of your own home when deciding on new flooring.
Tips to Improve Existing Floors Before the Open House
Consider the flooring already installed in your home and ask the following questions as you decide on any flooring renovations:
- Does my flooring match across different rooms to create flow?
- Does the flooring color match the style of my home?
- Is the color and style of my flooring attractive to a wide variety of potential tenants or buyers?
If you decide to keep the existing flooring in your home there are a few things you should keep in mind before you open your doors to potential buyers.
Your flooring should be in good condition.
Appearance should make potential buyers feel as though they could eat off the floor. This means no strange unidentified stains and an overall fresh feel.
Hint: If you wouldn’t let a baby crawl on the floor, it might be time to replace.
What Other Home Upgrades Can Improve Home Value?
If you’re completely renovating your home before you sell or you’re stepping into the home-flipping realm, consider the following as top priority for improving home value.
- Replacing old windows with new energy-efficient ones
- Remodel the kitchen entirely or replace the countertop and cabinetry
- Update or replace the HVAC or plumbing as needed
- Update all electrical systems
- Replace old or damaged flooring
First impressions say a lot. Make each room an experience potential buyers won’t forget. New flooring and other common renovations can help create a visual experience that will garner higher offers and give you a valid reason to list your home at a higher cost.
Ready to boost your home value?
Contact us for a free estimate.
Your bathroom is a relatively small area compared to the other rooms in your home. A place you go to relax and shower, use the toilet, and get ready in front of the mirror. It’s also the one spot in your home where you use the most water. With so many faucets, pipes, and drains, there’s potential for plenty of water damage. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s as simple as water collecting on your finished floor, if water finds it’s way into your subfloor, repairs quickly become expensive and time consuming.
What Is the Subfloor?
When water damage occurs, it ruins more than just your finished bathroom floor. The finished surface is usually tile, laminate or wood material. Underneath all of that material, holding your finished floor up, is your subfloor. When wood material is subject to water damage it has to be cut out and replaced along with everything else, a costly repair.
Mold and Mildew Smelling up Your Bathroom
When you take a shower, you like the water hot with steam filling up your bathroom and fogging over your mirror along with every other surface. If you don’t have proper ventilation, all of the moisture in the air will collect along the walls and floor, seeping through to the subfloor. Mold and mildew will begin to grow and live there, resulting in your floor feeling spongy while walking on it. Cleaning the fungus you can see will not remove it all, leaving a musty smell to linger while rotting your flooring and subfloor
Cracks and Gaps in Your Flooring
Over time, your floor’s sealant will become compromised, causing cracks and gaps. As water finds its way on to your floor, it will collect and drip through. All the wood that makes up your floor and subfloor absorbs the moisture causing it to expand. This warps the wood leaving the floor uneven, bumpy, hilly, and over time this becomes a bathroom hazard.
Water Leaks You Cannot See
Your bathroom has more water pass through its pipes than you may realize. You shower, take baths, use the toilet, and run the faucet throughout the day. This amounts to nearly 80 gallons of water use per person each day! Now imagine the kind of damage a leak could do to your floor.
With all the piping behind walls and under floors, you may not be able to detect a leak. Depending on the severity of the leak your floor may just need repaired, or it and the subfloor could have to be replaced altogether. Its important to remember, even the smallest of drips, over a long period of time, become the biggest of problems the longer they go unnoticed.
Contact the professionals at Flooring HQ to answer your questions about water leaks and any other flooring questions.
New carpet scent is caused by VOCs in the carpet that begins to rise out once it has been unrolled. It can create an unpleasant scent in your home until off-gassing is complete. This can occur within 24 hours or over the course of five days after installation. You’re more likely to get your home back to the way you like within 24 hours by actively working to diminish new carpet smell using the eight tips below.
7 Steps for a Better Smelling Carpet
Use one or a combination of the suggestions below to eliminate new carpet odor quickly and efficiently.
1. Ventilate the Room
Perhaps the best strategy, ventilating your home after carpet installation is an easy fix for new carpet smell. Simply keep all windows and doors open for 72 hours following carpet installation, even if you notice the smell stops before then.
Time and airflow are key agents to warding off a lingering scent. To speed up this process, turn on fans and your HVAC system to increase airflow through the rooms with new carpet.
2. Vacuum to Reduce Smell
Vacuum right after your new carpet is installed to grab leftover debris. Follow this up with daily cleaning for best results in limiting new carpet smell. While you should be vacuuming your carpet frequently for maintenance purposes, it’s especially important to vacuum freshly installed carpet when trying to get rid of nasty new carpet smells.
3. Steam Carpets with Vinegar
Try steaming your carpets with a vinegar solution for particularly tough odors. The vinegar is a strong odor-killer and can help with lingering scents. You can either perform the steam cleaning yourself or bring in a professional.
4. Sprinkle Baking Soda on Carpets
Baking soda can be used to absorb any scents your new carpet gives off. Simply sprinkle a layer of the baking soda on the new carpet and leave it for 24 to 48 hours. Repeat for the desired effect.
5. Place Potted Plants in Room
Potted plants go hand-in-hand with ventilation. Move a few large potted plants into the new room. This will help to generate new air and force the smell out through opened windows and doors.
Try these plants for best results:
6. Use Submerged Onions, Celery, or Apples
Place onion, celery or apple halves into a bowl, using water for celery and onions only, and place in the newly-carpeted room. This will help to absorb the odors in the air. Leave this to soak overnight for the best results.
7. Cover the Scent with Aromas
Admittedly, covering the scent is only masking the problem. But if the smell of a new carpet is too intense you can use potpourri or air fresheners to help diminish the unpleasant scents.
You should only use this strategy alongside others for eliminating new carpet smell, not as a standalone solution.
Next Time, Try This: Using Nails Over Glue for Installation
Part of the problem can be related to the installation itself. Using glue for carpet installation can cause more off-gassing and more irritating smells in your home. Opt for nails over carpet glue to cut down on the intensity of new carpet scent.
Can You Prevent New Carpet Smell Altogether?
What is Carpet Off-Gassing?
New carpet smell is also referred to as carpet off-gassing. It is the release of VOCs once the carpet has been removed from its warehouse and unrolled. By following the previous suggestion, exposure to carpet off-gassing can be significantly reduced. The Carpet and Rug Institute has created a Green Label certification to mark rugs and carpets that are lower in chemical compounds and produce less off-gassing.
To prevent the brunt of the off-gassing, many contractors will try to unroll new carpet in the warehouse or your garage before installation.
How Long Does Off-Gassing Take?
Off-gassing can last up to five days in some cases. But more commonly will only occur for the two days following installation. This is when the carpet has been unrolled and is at room temperature triggering the off-gassing to begin.
Other home renovation processes will contribute to off-gassing in your home. This includes:
- Wood furniture
- Other flooring types
By providing proper ventilation and actively trying techniques to rid your carpet of that ‘new’ scent, you can significantly reduce the duration of off-gassing.
Considering new carpet?
Contact us for a free estimate.
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- What Makes a Florida’s Flooring Needs Unique
- The Best Wood Flooring in Florida: Engineered Wood
- What is Engineered Wood?
- Where is Engineered Wood Best Used?
- Why Does Engineered Wood Work Great in Florida?
- The Most Popular Florida Flooring: Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
- What is Ceramic and Porcelain Flooring?
- Where is Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Best Used?
- Why are Tile and Porcelain so Popular in Florida?
- Second Best Option: Laminate Flooring
- What is Laminate Flooring?
- Where is Laminate Flooring Best Used?
- Why is Laminate Flooring Great for Florida Homes?
- Will Flooring Types Affect the Temperature in My Home?
- What Maintenance is Needed to Care for These Floor Types?
- How Long Can I Expect These Flooring Types to Last in Florida?
- Other Types of Flooring:
Choosing flooring for your house is a challenging task. There are several factors, such as style, price, availability, and climate that make it one of the most important and difficult design decisions you’ll make. If you happen to live in Florida, that decision just got a lot more difficult. Because of the heat, humidity, and beaches Florida is famous for, the types of flooring that will work in your Florida home are vastly reduced.
So, what makes Florida so different? The extreme climate is why most traditional flooring just won’t cut it in the sunshine state.
What makes Florida’s flooring needs unique?
The majority of Florida is considered to be subtropical, while its southern regions experience tropical climates. The state is surrounded by water on three sides and the interior parts of the state have a great deal of water. Basically, Florida weather is almost always hot and humid.
Even though visitors love the heat and the beaches, and us residents enjoy our tropical climate, there’s one major drawback – extreme weather. Florida has the highest amount of thunderstorm days per year at 80+. Additionally, tornadoes and hurricanes touchdown regularly.
Those weather systems and the frequency at which they exist in Florida, significantly impact construction, housing, and flooring. Therefore, building materials in Florida must be engineered to handle extreme weather systems. If you’re changing your floors or putting floors down in a new build, what should you choose, what should you avoid, and why?
The best wood flooring in Florida:
What is engineered wood?
Engineered hardwood floors are manufactured boards made up of several different recycled layers of wood. Typically, each board has five to seven layers, which are compressed and glued together creating a stronger and more moisture resistant board. The top layer is made of a more durable type of wood, –oak, maple, hickory– that will hold up to wear and tear and can even be sanded.
Because of the top layer, engineered wood floors look very similar to solid hardwoods. This gives Floridians a chance to have elegant, refined and classy flooring, while also adding a great deal of value to a home that must endure Florida’s extreme climate.
Installing hardwood in your home can also result in up to 80% ROI reflected in the value of your home. This makes hardwood valuable in more ways than one for Florida homeowners.
Where is engineered wood best used?
Originally, engineered wood floors were developed for use where solid hardwoods could not be installed. On the first floor of a home built on a concrete slab or in a basement or over radiant flooring systems. But engineered wood flooring tech has grown tremendously over the last 15 years, and the products can be used just about anywhere, including places where you would expect to find plank floors, and sometimes even kitchens.
Why does engineered wood work great in Florida?
What makes engineered hardwoods a good choice for Florida residences is that they’re specifically designed to resist moisture and extreme temperatures, the two biggest problems you’ll face when choosing flooring. They won’t expand and contrast like a solid hardwood, which means they won’t buckle or crack during a typical Florida summer. They’re relatively easy to install, and they come in a large variety of styles. That is why an engineered wood floor is so highly recommended for a Florida environment.
The most popular Florida flooring:
Ceramic or Porcelain Tile
What is ceramic and porcelain flooring?
Both porcelain and ceramic tiles are man-made clay tiles that are constructed by being fired at a very high temperature to reduce the water content of the clay and allow it to be shaped.
Porcelain is made from white clay, sand, and feldspar making it slightly more resistant to water. This makes it a harder, more dense tile. While this makes porcelain more durable than other tiles, it can make it brittle and harder to cut. Unfortunately, porcelain comes in limited colors and styles.
Ceramic tiles are made with red, brown, or white clay. This tile is softer, easier to work with, and less expensive than porcelain. Ceramic tile come in hundreds of new and classic styles.
Where is ceramic and porcelain tile best used?
Tile is very water resistant, which is why it is historically used in kitchens, restrooms, laundry rooms, and other humid or messy spaces. In Florida, tile can be found throughout the entire home. There’s a wide variety of styles and colors and finishes; tile can be used on concrete slabs, in bedrooms, basements or on upper levels and terraces. There’s even a type of tile that’s designed to look like a wood plank – if you want the look of wood and the practicality of tile.
Why are tile and porcelain so popular in Florida?
Tile flooring repels water exceptionally well. When water or condensation hits ceramic or porcelain tile, instead of soaking into it, the water just beads up. This means that these floors will absorb next to no moisture, even on days with the highest humidity, or where water is frequently found.
Second best option:
What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is a synthetic material, made mostly from melamine resin and fiberboard, constructed to imitate the look of natural wood with a top “wear” layer that makes it very durable. Laminates used to look as if they were made of plastic because the materials were cheap and the process was unrefined. However, today laminate is a great flooring option, as it remains inexpensive, durable and much more advanced than when it was first introduced into the market.
Where is laminate flooring best used?
As Laminate was created to look like real wood, it was therefore also made to go where real wood would go. You can expect to find laminate flooring in:
- Living rooms
- Finished basements
Because it’s durable, easy to install, easy to clean, and often moisture resistant, this flooring is a go-to for Florida home flooring.
Why is laminate flooring great for Florida homes?
There is a bit of a debate here. Because of the laminating and compressing process by which this product is made, it can be quite resistant to moisture. The issue though, is that a lot of that resistance depends on how the floor is installed.
If your laminate is installed with a proper vapor barrier, underlayment, tight seams, and on a dry, sealed subfloor, it can actually be nearly waterproof.
However, because it is a floating floor there is a gap between the subfloor and the laminate, and moisture can get trapped there, especially if you live in a high moisture climate. If the floor was not installed properly, that moisture coming from the ground and building up below the laminate can leak out through the seams of the floor and the bottom layers of the floor can swell, ruining the floor.
There is a new, high-pressure laminate that was developed for high humidity climates.. It’s made from a special glue to help reduce water moisture absorption. This product would be perfect for a Florida residence.
Tip: Laminate works best in homes with an effective HVAC system that can remove moisture in the air efficiently and consistently.
Will flooring types affect the temperature in my home?
It’s not surprising that summer heat is a problem for Floridians. AC units get turned down, blinds are shut, and when the electric bills come in you cringe.
But, tile flooring can actually help you cut back on the heat in your home. By not retaining heat, tiles flooring stays cool. As you walk on it your feet stay cool and in turn, you don’t feel as warm. The result? Your AC unit gets a break.
Laminate flooring is also known to not hold onto heat. Hardwood, on the other hand, is a mixture of both, holding warmth in the cooler months and staying cooler during hotter months.
What maintenance is needed to care for these floor types?
Your new flooring will come with maintenance requirements. Whether it’s mopping or refinishing, maintenance will be dependant on the type of floors installed in your home.
Engineered Wood is cared for as you would hardwood flooring.
- Use only a damp cloth or mop to clean, only using cleaners specified for engineered wood
- Practice daily dusting and sweeping to avoid buildup
- Avoid scratches in your flooring by keeping pads under furniture and pets nails trimmed
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent staining
- Close your blinds to avoid direct sunlight damaging the wood
Porcelain or Ceramic Tile doesn’t require any intensive maintenance if cared for properly.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners to prevent damage
- Sweep, mop, and vacuum every few days, if not daily
- Use vinegar and baking soda solutions to cut through grime
- Apply sealer yearly if unglazed porcelain
Laminate Flooring shouldn’t be exposed to large amounts of water when cleaning to avoid buckling in the flooring.
- Avoid use of steam mops, wet mops, and polishing or buffering treatments
- Use cleaners made specifically for laminate floor care
- Remove sticky substances by hardening with ice then cleaning with a plastic scraper, taking care not to press too hard
How long can I expect these flooring types to last in Florida?
New flooring is an investment that will steer your interior design choices and cleaning habits for years to come. But how many years exactly? It all depends on the type of flooring you have installed. Keep in mind that all estimates are based on proper care and maintenance of your flooring.
- Engineered Wood – 20 to 100 Years
- Porcelain or Ceramic Tile – 20 to 50 Years
- Laminate Flooring – 15 to 25 Years
Other types of flooring:
These options are not the only ones, but the top-recommended for Florida homes. Other flooring options include:
If you have any questions about what kind of flooring is best for your Florida house, whether it’s a condo or apartment, beachfront or inland, new build or renovation, contact us. We’ve been supplying flooring in Florida for decades and our expert staff will help you choose exactly the right product to fit your design and location.
Considering a floor replacement?
Contact us for a free estimate.
Installing a new floor involves a lot of prep work, including removing the old tiles. While you could just cover up the old tiles with the new ones, removing the tiles instead has a lot of advantages. These include checking on the health of your subfloor and seeing if there are any mold issues.
If you completely remove the tile before starting any new flooring project, you’ll be able to see if there are any problems that need to be addressed before you cover them up again. You can make any necessary repairs or deal with mold instead of letting the problem get worse.
Can I Remove Tile Myself?
Removing tile yourself is a labor-intensive project, but it can save you thousands of dollars that you would have spent on hiring a professional. It’s important to have everything you need and to do it right in order to avoid damaging your subfloor (or the tiles, if you want to repurpose them). If you feel up to a DIY project, then self-removal is a good way to go.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Professional?
The cost to hire a professional to do it for you can add to the cost of a floor installation significantly, sometimes up to $3,000. The cost depends on the size of the room. On top of the costs of the labor for removing the tile, there are also the haul-away costs. Total, it can average between $2 and $5 per square foot of tile removal.
Equipment for Tile Removal
Before you get started on any tile removal project, it’s important to make sure you have all of the proper equipment ahead of time. This includes safety gear to protect yourself and others as well as the tools to do the actual tile removal.
Removing tile can be a tricky business and it’s important to take all safety precautions to make sure that you do it safely. This means investing in safety glasses to protect your eyes, a dust mask so that you won’t inhale dust, and leather gloves to protect your hands. Safety gear should be worn by anyone else who comes into the work area.
The tools you’ll need to take out the tile are a paint scraper, floor scraper, chisel, and a drop sheet to contain the dust. The tools will help you scrape the tile and completely clear all materials from the floor so you can start fresh. Depending on how your tile was installed in the first place, you may need a hammer to break up the tile. To remove the underlayment, you’ll need a screw gun, a roofing rake, and a flat shovel.
Tile Removal Steps
Step 1: Removing the Trim
Before you start removing the tile, the first step is to remove all trim and baseboards from around the room. Be careful with all of the materials that you remove so that it can be easily reinstalled when you’ve finished removing the tile and have installed your new floor. Also, cover any vents that are in the room so that dust doesn’t get into them (and from there the rest of your house).
Step 2: Removing the Tile
Once you’ve got all trimmings out of the way, it’s time to actually remove the tile. This process is trickier if you want to preserve the tiles than if you’re just replacing them. If you don’t care about saving the tiles, you can get started by smashing them with a hammer.
Start by breaking up a single tile with the edge of a hammer. Use a chisel to remove the rest of that tile and then to remove the tiles near it. You’ll have to break up at least one tile, but if you’re careful about prying up the ones next to it, you can preserve the rest. You can use the claw end of the hammer and they should come up easily. If you don’t care about saving the tile, then you can just break them all up with the hammer, if you find that easier than prying them up.
If your tile is adhered to the floor with cement, preserving the tile may not be an option. If the tiles won’t come up easily, then break them up with the hammer and use the floor scraper to remove it.
Step 3: Removing the Underlayment
Once you’ve completely removed all of the tiles, check out the status of the underlayment. You can use the hammer to remove the mortar from the underlayment, but depending on the state of the underlayment, it may need to be replaced. Adhesive removal can be challenging, so it may be worth your time and money to remove and replace the underlayment. If it’s old, it may be deteriorating anyway.
Remove the underlayment by first removing any screws that may be keeping it attached to the floor. Then, use a roofing rake or a flat shovel to pry up the edges of the underlayment.
Step 4: Cleaning the Subfloor
Once the underlayment has been removed, it’s time to clean the subfloor. Scrape any remaining adhesive from the subfloor and then clean up any screws, bits of tile, or anything else that’s on the subfloor. Check it out for any mold or damage that might need attention. Make any necessary repairs or cleanings.
Before installing a new floor, the subfloor should be completely clear of debris, clean, and in good shape. You don’t want to cover up damage or mold that might just get worse over time.
How Can I Make Sure My Floor Doesn’t Have Asbestos?
Some older tile floors were installed using asbestos, which is dangerous because it can get into your lungs and cause diseases. The only foolproof method to determine whether or not your floor is to have a professional test the area for asbestos fibers. However, you can look at the size of the tiles that were on the floor (and for an outline of older tiles underneath). If the tiles are nine inches on each side, that’s a sign that there may be asbestos involved, as it was commonly used with tiles of that size.
How Can I Dispose of the Old Tile?
If you had your tile professionally removed, the installer would charge a fee for its removal and then handle that for you. If you remove the tile yourself, you’ll also have to dispose of the tile yourself. Old tiles aren’t usually recyclable with normal recycling. You can take it to your local recycling center after calling them first to make sure that they can take it. If your tiles are in good shape, you could donate them to someone else who may need them. There are community construction projects that may be grateful for a donation of some free tile.
What Might Require a Professional?
If you discover asbestos, the cleanup and removal must be done by a professional. It can be dangerous to work with, so it’s essential that you call professionals to handle asbestos. If your subfloor is damaged or has mold, you may want to consider hiring a professional to repair it so that you know it’s stable and fully clean before installing new tile on top of it.